Coco Goff, an American teenager, insisted that Roland Garros would no longer be a “freak-out” as he struggled to reach his first Grand Slam semifinal.
The 18-year-old made it to the last eight for the second time in a row after beating Belgium’s Alice Mertens 6-4, 6-0 in Paris on Sunday.
In the quarterfinals, he will face U.S. compatriot and 2018 runner-up Sloane Stephens, and the hard lessons of his move to the 2021 quarterfinals are still fresh in his memory.
Twelve months ago, he lost in straight sets to eventual champion Barbara Krezsekova, despite a handful of openings.
“To get to the top of the class, I think I’ll keep doing what I’m doing and not be discouraged,” Gough said.
“I think that was the biggest lesson I learned in my quarter-final match last year. I had a few set points and I think I got scared when some points didn’t go my way.
“I did not panic today when some of those important points did not go my way.”
Sunday’s win means Gough, the 2018 junior champion at Roland Garros, has won four consecutive matches together for the first time since last year’s run in Paris.
While in the French capital, Goff graduated from high school, marking the occasion on Instagram with a family photo in front of the Eiffel Tower.
Securing her diploma helped her feel more comfortable with her tennis career that began in 2018 when, at just 15 years old, she became the youngest woman to qualify for Wimbledon.
Venus Williams was knocked out on the way to the fourth round at the All England Club and her profile became rocket.
“I am really enjoying the tournament, enjoying life. I’m not thinking about the end result, “he said.
“I’m enjoying the match in front of me and no matter what happens, it’s out of my control.”
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